Kathy M’Closkey conveys an interesting idea about Navajo weaving as a form of metacommunication. Her explanation ties the sacred and secular aspects of Navajo life together and the result is “hozho”, “the combining of “beauty/harmony/ local order”. Many others who describe the beauty of Navajo weaving separate the sacred process of creation from the aesthetic beauty of the object and thus fail to understand the “holistic” beauty inherent in Navajo weaving.
I can relate to the Navajo weavers’ feeling of “metacommunication” as I find a spirit of the plains is part of the creative process in hooking a rug from beginning to end. Deciding on a geometric pattern, drawing it onto a backing, selecting wool colors whose values coordinate with the pattern, cutting the wool fabric into strips, hooking each loop, and finishing the pillow/rug are all part of thinking about communicating with others the “beauty/harmony/local order” of the piece. A peace often permeates the act of rug hooking. A prayer or meditation is often spoken or thought as the repetitive motion of the hook entwines the wool strip below the backing and is brought through as a loop above the backing.
Explain how you experience “‘hozho’, beauty, balance, harmony, health, peace, blessing and order’ in your craft. What process of creation do you follow?
How do you communicate with others the essence of what you have created?
Leave a reply below and let us hear your thoughts.
To read more about M’Closkey’s research go to: http://see.library.utoronto.ca/SEED/Vol4-1/M’Closkey.htm
“Towards an Understanding of Navajo Aesthetics”
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